As a matter of fact, the term for SEO is still a gray area especially for thousands of people in the UK (Great Britain). However, some of them who know SEO may be university students who like to work in organic marketing or even professional marketers for small and medium-sized businesses that are going to dive deeper into all marketing channels. Then, what about the question of how much is the budget for SEO? especially in Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia.
At mid-level, the budget for SEO services in Southeast Asia markets is around $3000-$5000 or IDR45.000.000 to 75.000.000. These markets involve startups and enterprises with total market volume is about 50.000 to 150.000 visitors a month.
Apart from the fact whether you are a professional marketer, search engine specialist, product manager, or investor and business owner, investing in all digital marketing channels is about what, why, how, where, and who is the target consument. Several investment scenarios are often associated with the growth projection toward markets and their needs. This paragraph is a fundamental discussion of the question of how much money do we need to prepare in order to get into search engines optimization activities such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
In the end, though, SEO approaches have their level that would directly impact the amount of the budget which involves aggressive plans, internal technology supports, market demands, varied niches, and the difficulty level in market niches.
From our standpoint, you must prepare a list of questions for your company executives in advance to contact an SEO marketing agency. The questions should be critical as they will be the backgrounds for the right optimization plans and strategies for your company.
It should be mentioned that search engine optimization planning like Google does not use the same framework for time after time. For instance, we, at cmlabs, should allocate lots of time, budget, and human resources to test a framework on a specific market and a company that we help.
Therefore, we present you the 9 most important questions to be prepared before you contact an SEO company or an SEO agency.
List of questions before starting SEO project
Table 1 - Nine fundamental questions to start SEO Marketing tenders.
|1||Does my company’s business operate in one or more countries?||1 country, Indonesia.|
|2||Does my company’s website target local markets only or Does the website need to support bilingual and multilingual?||Bilingual, Indonesian Language (id-id) and English (en-id).|
|3||What is the main goal that the company wants to achieve through SEO marketing channels? E.g. (a) Increasing traffic organically or through search engines, (b) Targeting specific keyword, (c) Dominating certain market niches, etc.||Increasing organic traffic (from 2000 per day to 5000 per day in 6 months).|
|4||How long has my company's website been online, what assets has the website published (online assets), and is it in accordance with the company’s plan?||It has been 5 years, the website has about 100 active pages appeared on Google.|
|5||How about the website’s traffic - how to distribute traffic to all marketing channels?||SEO has been the top of it (60%), followed by direct traffic (20%), paid search engines (10%), and the rest 10% is for social media, referral from bloggers, and marketing email.|
|6||Does the company’s website have a supported team such as Content Writers, Developers, and webmasters (Person in Charge of a website)?||There is not an SEO PIC. Instead, there will be 2 content writers and a copywriter.|
|7||Does the company specifically decide and control the SEO agency to win certain keyword competition?||Yes, it does. I hope the online marketing service consultant (SEO) can win 200 keywords.|
|8||The company should have been aware of the competition in the markets, then mention your company’s direct-competitor (3-5 competitors are enough), and who is your company’s search-engine-competitor?||Brand 1 and Brand 2 are the direct-competitors. Brand 2 and Brand 3 are the search-engine-competitors. We know that Brand 1 is not optimal yet on the search engine, that is why we want to invest earlier in websites and SERPs.|
|9||Based on the management calculation, how many % do you want the search engine optimization channels to distribute to the company’s revenue?||For SEO marketing channels = 3% to 5% in 4 quarters ahead.|
It does not feel right if an SEO agency does not have those questions. We make those 9 fundamental questions brief and simple. But, how come they can be so important? We (at cmlabs) have to dig the company’ plans deeper since it determines strategies to prepare. The 9 questions are adequate to create the strategies map and initial to secondary plans.
In some scenarios, we only need the third question for companies that have been familiar with the optimization activity. It does not happen often, but various regions and developed countries are already there.
The next step is to find out the quality of the SEO company or SEO agency. The fit criteria are presented below. Those are the ones that we set for cmlabs team and internal. We will deal with any assessment in an open way when the criteria could not handle the optimization activity for your company.
The criteria of an SEO consultant agency and company
- The agency and company should focus on the topic and search engine optimization plans (for the best optimization work, we believe that the agency should focus on SEO marketing channels only).
- The agency and company are able to create clear optimization plans, including the timeline and its priority (classified based on market niches - the collaboration of organic marketing team and data team is required on this specific level).
- The agency and company should describe the budget clearly (should have not budgeted for PNB, Backlink, Advertorial, and other marketing channels such as paid search / SEM, etc.).
- The agency and company should be able to make a projection for search engine markets in a clear way, based on reliable data, and a calculation about the potential of markets toward your company’s goals (the third question on the list of questions before starting an SEO project).
However, if we take a look at businesses and marketers behavior in Indonesia, it would be quite difficult to implement the criteria on Table 2. Normally, they will handle all digital marketing channels. For that reason, we, at cmlabs, try to make it transparent, especially on how we set the price. You can check the complete criteria and the SEO services pricing at cmlabs.
How much is the monthly budget for SEO services at any levels?
To make it transparent, we would like to give you three budget options for three different enterprises. We also target different markets for each option.
Table 2 - Three levels of SEO pricing
Company and Its Objective
Monthly Budget for SEO
|Low||I have a restaurant in Central Jakarta. I do not target any organic traffic yet. But, we would love to if our restaurant appears on 35 keywords that we targeted. Our restaurant sells any kinds of seafood and tropical country drinks.||$1500-$3000|
|Mid||My company operates in Indonesia. In the third quarter of 2021, we targeted about 50 keywords. We want our website to reach Google first page 80% - 100% at the end of quarter. Our business focuses on ground transportation services, e.g. bus, travel, and airport shuttle. We have a content writer supported by a freelancer. Our website has been around since 2015 and its best performance was last year, where there were 1000 visitors a day. With the target that we have set above (OKR for SEO), we expect SEO marketing channels to contribute around 10% to company’s profit and cut the budget for paid ads in search engines next year.||$2500-$4000|
|High||Further explanation from our team? Contact us.||$3000-$10000|
Data attached are the analysis results of market niches in Indonesia. In general, pricing in Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia is 20-50% higher than Indonesia, while Singapore has twice as high as in Indonesia. However, the rest of the countries in Southeast Asia tend to set the same price or even lower than what Indonesian markets have set.
The pricing above has been calculated using an SEO calculator (by cmlabs marketing team). Feel free to contact cmlabs marketing should you have any questions about the budget details.
Search engine optimization is how agencies determine the end of SEO activity. It applies to almost all marketing channels, the final result is the most important one. SEO practitioners who understand their jobs well will have these consideration done to achieve the objectives (a) how the plans are made, (b) where do the data resource as plan justification come from, (c) how deep is the categorization for market niches, and (d) is the budget spent worth the result. So, for cmlabs, the right and accurate process will lead us to the objectives that we have set at kick-off optimization projects.
What are SEO activities at enterprise-level?
Asking about what SEO tools that the specialist of an agency has mastered is obviously not the kind of a question that you want to ask if you expect for top SEO agencies or SEO companies.
In the previous paragraph (fifth paragraph), it has been elaborated that this job does not use the same framework even for a business in the same niche and market.
- Company factor,
- Execution time,
- Online competitors growth,
- The increase number of competitors,
- Who will execute it (in the agency),
- Short and long term company’s plans,
- Market trends that will directly impact SEO work.
Therefore, it is important to understand the problem faced and capability of agencies to identify the improvement and optimization areas of a website.